France's first lady expressed her support for a presidential run by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (search), saying that such a candidacy would be an inspiration to women worldwide.

Bernadette Chirac (search), the wife of French President Jacques Chirac, made the comments Wednesday on a prime-time TV newscast featuring an interview with the New York Democrat, who is in France to promote her new book.

"There are a lot of women who hope one day she'll run for the presidency of the United States and that she'll win," Mrs. Chirac said of Sen. Clinton in recorded remarks on TF1 television.

She said it would spur women "across the whole world to engage in politics."

The French translation of Sen. Clinton's memoir, Living History has been a hit in France since arriving at bookstores here about three weeks ago. According to weekly magazine Le Nouvel Observateur, the book has held No. 3 in the nonfiction sales rankings for the past two weeks. The French language title of the book is Mon Histoire (My History).

"I don't have the intention to run," Clinton said in the interview, according to a French translation of her remarks. "I want to do my job as a senator."

The visit by Sen. Clinton comes weeks after French-American relations reached their lowest ebb in years because of France's strong opposition to the U.S.-led military campaign in Iraq.